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O-Rings and Shady Trucking Companies; Outcomes of a Lowest Bidder Philosophy

As humans, especially in a capitalistic society, we inherently want to hang on to our precious resources, such as money. So when faced with multiple options we typically choose the cheapest one. This is not always wise.

Whenever I have the opportunity to advise a company on their shipping procedures and policies, I tell them not to seek out the lowest bidder but to find a company or companies in whom they trust and work with them.

An Ohio-based trucking company was effectively shut down by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for, “…43 federal safety violations…including 13 out-of-service violations, including inoperable brakes, cracked frame rails, improper load securement and falsified logs.”

This is a potential outcome for a philosophy of always choosing the lowest bidder.

As responsible citizens we want to think, “Shame on them!” And that is accurate. They could have chosen to keep their trucks maintained and the logbooks accurate. But they didn’t; and that’s on them. But what about a society – companies – individuals that reward that behavior by giving companies such as these their business when these companies cut their rates to dangerous levels and cut corners to make it work? This, of course, reminds me of the O-Ring disaster on the Space Shuttle back in 1986.

If you want my advice, pick your carriers by:

  • On-time delivery rates
  • On-time pickups
  • Pricing
  • Working with people you trust

And that last one is most important. There will be problems or issues from time to time. You want to work with someone who will take care of you when they arise.

If you want to begin a discussion with us here at Zion, give us a call today.

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

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